Understanding the Costs of Boat Ownership | Scout Boats

Understanding the Costs of Boat Ownership

If you’re thinking about buying a boat, there’s a lot to consider. In particular, you need to be completely informed on all the costs of boat ownership so you can have the most enjoyment on the water.

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Initial Costs

The first step to buying a boat is establishing your initial budget. You need to decide how much you want to spend on the boat and what you can afford. The budget you have in mind can help guide you to the right boat for your needs.

Generally speaking, the larger the boat, the more it will cost. This means if you have a large budget, you could probably afford a larger craft. However, keep in mind that bigger is not always better, especially for new boat owners.

Annual Maintenance

Just like your car or truck, a boat needs routine maintenance. The amount of maintenance, as well as the cost, will vary depending on the type of boat you own. New boats, in general, will cost less to maintain than an older boat. Boats will need engine maintenance, cleaning, hull maintenance, winterizing, and de-winterizing. These costs can range from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars annually.

Boat Insurance

To own a boat, you should at least have liability coverage. However, you may also want damage coverage, especially if it is a new, expensive craft. If you are using a loan to purchase the boat, you will likely need comprehensive coverage. If totaling the boat would be severely detrimental to your finances, it’s imperative to be well-insured.


You will also have to store the boat either at a marina, in a storage complex, or at your house. The most affordable route would be to store it on your own property, but if that’s not an option, you’ll have to pay for storage. Outdoor storage costs anywhere between $200 and $1,000, while indoor storage can go as high as $5,000 per season.

Equipment, Accessories, and Toys

Boating can require a lot of equipment, including life jackets, safety equipment, fishing accessories, and more. Many of these will essentially be one-time costs—you likely won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on life jackets annually—but some of them can be recurring. With towing equipment, skis, coolers, fishing rods, and more, you can easily spend $10,000 on accessories for a single boat, but most people can reasonably expect to spend about $1,000 equipping a vessel.

Purchase a Quality Boat from Scout

We hope you better understand the costs of boat ownership. If you’re ready to purchase a new craft, Scout Boats offers a large selection of top-quality crafts ranging from large offshore boats to nimble inshore skiffs. Plus, you can customize your boat to meet your exact needs with our Build Your Scout tool for maximum enjoyment on the water.

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